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We serve the public through researching, preserving, educating and displaying the history of Greater Federal Way to build a sense of community identity and heritage.

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The Historical Society of Federal Way welcomes anyone who lives, works, plays or has an interest in Federal Way to become a member.

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Explore Federal Way

Mrs. Denny's Rose

Visit the Historic Cabins, built in the 1880s and enjoy displays of the Louisa Denny 'Sweetbrier' and other local heritage roses. Located in the meadow east of the Denny Cabin, members of Heritage Roses Northwest will discuss the rose brought by wagon train to Seattle in 1851. Also on hand will be the Crazy Quilters of Federal Way, displaying their unique samples of quilting and embroidery and discussing these distinctive examples of art, function and heritage.

Louisa Boren Denny is credited with bringing and planting the first seeds of the 'Sweetbrier' rose into the Seattle area. This rose is Rosa rubiginosa, also known as the 'Eglantine' rose of Shakespeare's England. The name has also been spelled 'Sweetbriar.'
Donwload Full Mrs. Denny's Rose PDF

Cabin Season Has Arrived!

The Historic West Hylebos Wetlands Park Cabins will be open to the public on the second Saturday of each month through October. The open dates will be May 13; June 10; July 8; August 12; September 9; October 9.

The two Historic Cabins represent different styles of 'log cabin architecture.' The David Denny Cabin was built by one of Seattle's earliest settlers as a real estate office in 1889. The John Barker Cabin, originally located on 312th Street at about 8th Avenue, was built by one of Federal Way's earliest settlers. It is the oldest building in Greater Federal Way and has a number of period furnishings and artifacts.

The Brooklake Community Center

Brooklake Community Center Book From Prohibition-era speakeasy and rowdy roadhouse to library, Women's Club and beyond, what today is called the Brooklake Community Center spent decades embroiled in controversies, legal battles and community wrangling. Federal Way's local historian, Dick Caster, tracked down the Center's stories, photos and facts, spinning exhaustive research into a great read for his new book, "The Brooklake Community Center." This fascinating slice of local history is available for $20 through the Historical Society of Federal Way.
Donwload Our Sample PDF Book Here.

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Mrs. Denny and the "Sweet-briar" Rose

Ms. Margaret Nelson gives a heart-warming retelling of the story behind the rosa rubigibosa and the strong woman who brought its fragrance to Federal Way, WA. Please click the link below for the PDF excerpt from Heritage Roses Northwest Vol. 25, Issue 3.
See More on Our PDF Article

The Denny Cabin
The Denny Cabin
David Denny was part of the original party that settled Seattle in 1851. This monograph tells his story including his construction of the Denny Cabin in 1889 for use as a real estate office to promote the sale of land at the foot of Queen Anne Hill, including the land that now makes up the Seattle Center and surrounding land. The 93 page monograph also tells why the Denny Cabin ended up in Federal Way and describes the restoration work accomplished by the Historical Society of Federal Way. Read More About Denny Cabin »

The Baker Cabin
The Barker Cabin
This 65 page article provides a history of the oldest original structure in Federal Way. This homestead cabin was built in 1883 by John Barker. Barker lived in this cabin with his wife and three children for seven years. Once called the "Ivied Cottage" because it was draped with ivy, the Barker Cabin is the oldest original structure in the Federal Way area. The Historical Society of Federal Way has restored the historic Barker Cabin for public display at the entrance to West Hylebos Wetlands Park on South 348th Street and Fourth Avenue South in Federal Way, Washington. Read More About Barker Cabin »

Historical Society Hours

Our office hours are currently Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 12:00pm to 4:00pm.

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